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Light Bulbs - CFLs

CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) are a type of energy efficient light bulb in which the glass tubing is curved or folded to fit into the shape of a traditional incandescent "light bulb," and include a compact electronic ballast in the base of the item.

Household Hazardous Waste

This item should never be put in a curbside bin. For more information visit our household hazardous waste page.

Do not throw fluorescent or other mercury-containing lights in the trash or recycling bins. High intensity discharge, metal halide, sodium and neon lights all contain mercury as well. It’s illegal and mercury exposure can harm the brain, heart, and immune and nervous systems. Mercury products contaminate California’s drinking water, fish, soil, and air when they are not managed properly. The mercury limit in drinking water is 2 parts per billion in California, since even low quantities are extremely hazardous.

The following lamps are considered hazardous in California: fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps, HID lamps, High intensity discharge lamps, metal halide lamps, sodium vapor lamps, grow lamps, Zenon lamps, headlights - auto, mercury vapor lamps, video projector lamps, ultraviolet lamps, UV lamps, water treatment lamps, sun lamps, tanning lamps, mercury containing lamps, LED lamps. The following ballasts are considered hazardous in California: light fixture ballasts, lamp ballasts, electronic ballasts, fluorescent light ballasts, HID light ballasts, PCB containing ballasts, no-PCB ballasts.

Be sure to transport in a way that prevents breakage. If a light breaks, refer to epa.gov/cfl. If a bulb breaks, open a window to disperse mercury vapor, collect the shards with tape, and place in a closed and sealed container—do not vacuum!

How are lights recycled? Lights must be recycled at EPA-approved sites. Glass is recycled or landfilled, recovered metal is recycled, and mercury is stored, disposed, or reused.

Vendors

Vendor Address City Destination Disposal Method Notes
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Drop-in Program (Hayward Facility) 2091 West Winton Avenue Hayward Safe Disposal Paid Drop-off Unbroken lamps only & ballasts. Boxes for lamps available for purchase to then fill and drop-off.
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Drop-in Program (Livermore Facility) 5584 La Ribera Street Livermore Safe Disposal Paid Drop-off Unbroken lamps only & ballasts. Boxes for lamps available for purchase to then fill and drop-off.
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Drop-in Program (Oakland Facility) 2100 East 7th Street Oakland Safe Disposal Paid Drop-off Unbroken lamps only & ballasts. Boxes for lamps available for purchase to then fill and drop-off.
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Program (Fremont Facility) 41149 Boyce Rd. Fremont Recycle Paid Drop-off Unbroken lamps & ballasts
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Program (Hayward Facility) 2091 West Winton Avenue Hayward Recycle Paid Drop-off Unbroken lamps & ballasts
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Program (Livermore Facility) 5584 La Ribera Street Livermore Recycle Paid Drop-off Unbroken lamps & ballasts
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Program (Oakland Facility) 2100 East 7th Street Oakland Recycle Paid Drop-off Unbroken lamps & ballasts
Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program (Fremont Facility) 41149 Boyce Rd. Fremont Recycle Free Drop-off   lamps & ballasts
Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program (Hayward Facility) 2091 West Winton Avenue Hayward Recycle Free Drop-off   lamps & ballasts
Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program (Livermore Facility) 5584 La Ribera Street Livermore Recycle Free Drop-off   lamps & ballasts
Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program (Oakland Facility) 2100 East 7th Street Oakland Recycle Free Drop-off   lamps & ballasts
Alamo (Dublin) Ace Hardware 7373 Village Pkwy Dublin Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Bill's Ace Hardware 4451 Clayton Rd. Concord Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Bill's Ace Hardware 3610 Pacheco Blvd. Martinez Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Brownies Hardware 1563 Polk St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Canyon Market 2815 Diamond St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Center Hardware 3003 3rd St San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Central Contra Costa HHW Collection Facility 4797 Imhoff Pl. Martinez Recycle Free Drop-off
Charity Cultural Services Center 731 Commercial St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
City Lights 1585 Folsom St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.

Curbside Service

Special Action Note
Alameda
Residents may drop off at the ACI Alameda office.
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Albany
To dispose of CFL Bulbs call WM(510) 613-8710 for your free Vaporlok Foil Bag. Place up to 6 used, unbroken CFLs inside the bag, and keep sealed at all times. Place bag on top of the Recyclables Cart.
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Berkeley
Find appropriate bin for drop-off at Berkeley Recycling.
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Castro Valley Sanitary District
Bring to CVSan Recycles Day in April or August, or bring boxed to Pete's Ace Hardware at 2569 Castro Valley Blvd, Castro Valley, CA 94546.
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Dublin
Emeryville
Residential accounts can order returnable collection container at no charge. Not collected curbside.
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Fremont
Hayward
Hayward (Oro Loma - L2)
Livermore
Newark
Oakland
Piedmont
Place unbroken CFL's in ziploc bag on top of recycling cart.
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Pleasanton
San Leandro
San Leandro (Oro Loma - L3)
San Lorenzo (Oro Loma)
Unincorporated Oro Loma (L1)
Union City

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